Mexican model Andrea Meza has been crowned Miss Universe 2021.
Andrea, who is Miss Mexico finished ahead of Miss Brazil Julia Gama and Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo at a pageant held on Sunday, May 16.
The 26-year-old makeup artist has a degree in software engineering and is a women rights activist currently working with the Municipal Institute for women in her home country, which aims to end gender violence.
She is also a model and the official tourism brand ambassador for her home the city of Chihuahua.
Miss Universe 2021 was a politically charged event with contestants from Singapore, Uruguay and Myanmar lighting up the pageant with political and social messages.
Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in spotlight to bring the world’s attention to the rising political temperature in her home country due to the chaos sparked by a coup.
She won the award for the best national costume as she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “pray for Myanmar”
Myanmar has been in turmoil since February 1 when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.
In the recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.